UTILITIES: NextEra Energy says it will spend $1 billion on battery storage projects in 2021, including a major storage center in Florida, and add solar through its utility, Florida Power & Light. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest utility, announces it will merge with Gulf Power, and that it has completed six new solar projects. (Palm Beach Post)

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POWER: Nearly all of the 23,000 MW of new natural gas, wind and solar projects last year were added in the South, according to the Energy Department. (Houston Chronicle)

• Dominion Energy says its offshore wind pilot project in Virginia will be completed this year. (Power Engineering)
• A data center operator says it will use wind energy from several Texas projects to power 13 of its data centers around Dallas. (Renewables Now)  

• Oak Ridge, Tennessee, officials approve a resolution allowing cheaper meters for smaller solar projects in order to reflect a new TVA rule and eliminate confusion. (Oak Ridger)
• Verizon signs virtual power purchase agreements for 254 MW of capacity from two solar energy farms in Texas. (news release)

NUCLEAR: Plant Vogtle officials say more than 100 employees at the nuclear plant have tested positive for COVID-19. (WRDW)

• Louisiana’s governor delays collection of oil and gas severance taxes to offer relief for the industry after the collapse of prices. (Daily Advertiser)
• Oil and gas industry groups and company officials say President Trump’s plan to fill the U.S. emergency crude oil reserves won’t be enough to help. (Reuters)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Offshore oil drillers shut off wells in the Gulf of Mexico following a collapse in crude prices, and some executives worry it may take years for the industry to recover. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

Lyndsey Gilpin is a freelance journalist based in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. She compiles the Southeast Energy News daily email digest. Lyndsey is the publisher of Southerly, a weekly newsletter about ecology, justice, and culture in the American South. She is on the board of directors for the Society of Environmental Journalists.